Communications and Information Technology Minister Hany Mahmoud Abdel Megeed, has become the next to quit in the battle over Egypt's government transformation.
Megeed, a trained engineer and a member of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, announced late Tuesday in his statement of resignation that he was “quitting for Egypt,” according to the official state Middle East News Agency (MENA). The minister reportedly already tendered his resignation initially on November 22, the day Morsi declared for himself a decree granting the presidency sweeping new powers, AFP reported.
But he is not the first.
Egyptian Vice President Mahmud Mekki preceded him, announcing his resignation this past Saturday in a statement he was leaving because "political work does not suit my professional character as a judge." Mekki, too, said he had submitted his resignation much earlier -- on November 7 -- but delayed leaving for various reasons, including the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and last month's decision by President Mohamed Morsi to expand his own powers.
A national referendum rife with alleged irregularities this week passed a draft Constitution written by an Islamist National Assembly committee that was rushed through by Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi. Less than a third of the populace turned out for the vote, which was boycotted by minorities, opposition parties, and nearly everyone other than Morsi's most fervent backers.
Nevertheless, "There is no loser in this referendum result,” said Qandil in a statement, urging “all political forces to cooperate with the government” to restore the economy.
Creditors and investors are meanwhile abandoning Egypt due to the instability of the government and the volatile social situation. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund this month placed a hold on a hard-won $4.8 billion loan to Cairo that was desperately needed to keep the country's currency from collapsing.
But Egypt is rapidly losing credibility on the international scene as the country's growing Islamist fervor in the streets makes it clear that more secular, and non-Muslim foreigners, are increasingly unwelcome.
Tourists appear to be simply unwilling to risk their lives in a nation where holiday-goers and other foreign visitors have been kidnapped or randomly attacked since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.